February 16, 2020
Earlier today, we learned that Malaysian health authorities confirmed a passenger from the MS Westerdam cruise ship, which docked in Sihanoukville on February 13, tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) after arriving in Kuala Lumpur on February 14. The elderly passenger’s spouse tested negative.
Personnel from U.S. Mission Cambodia are participating in an ongoing, high-priority operation to assist Westerdam officials and Cambodian authorities in helping U.S. citizen passengers disembark from the cruise ship and seek onward flights as they make their way home.
The safety and well-being of U.S. citizens is the top priority of the State Department, and our Consular Officers are working closely with the Cambodian and Malaysian governments and public health professionals in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Medical and public health experts agree that contact with passengers and crew of the MS Westerdam is considered low risk for exposure to COVID-19. Risk is determined by the distance (less than 6 feet) and duration (more than 15 consecutive minutes) of exposure to a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection. Outdoor or large indoor spaces such as the airport departure hall reduce risk because of greater ventilation.
We understand the concern the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused across the region and around the world. We are working around the clock to keep abreast of developments and secure resources and services for American citizens. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns at +85523728523 or via email at ACSPhnomPenh@state.gov